When the Trumans moved into the White House in 1945, they soon discovered the old mansion was on the brink of collapse. The floors swayed as they walked on them, joints popped and cracked, and rats even scurried through holes in the walls and across the floors. While Harry, Bess and Margaret Truman all joked in their letters and diary entries about hearing the “ghosts” of presidents past, these mysterious noises were actually telltale signs that the White House was disintegrating.
The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum is telling the incredible story of the largest White House renovation in history this year through the temporary exhibition Saving the White House: Truman’s Extreme Makeover, on display through 2017. Read More
Andrew Jackson approached the presidency differently from his predecessors. He was the first president from “the West,” and he believed passionately that the president should represent all citizens and not just a few. Harry Truman often listed him as one of his favorite presidents, and admired his desire to represent all Americans. In Jackson’s eight years in office, he was responsible for balancing the federal budget for the first and only time in history and helping to expand the nation’s territory, not without controversy along the way.
Next month we’re welcoming Howard Kittell, President & CEO of Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, to the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum for a free public program discussing Jackson’s White House.
White House Stories with Clifton Truman Daniel
We had a packed auditorium last night for a public program featuring President Truman’s grandson Clifton Truman Daniel. Clifton shared stories he heard directly from his grandfather that had the audience both inspired and entertained. Watch the recording from this incredible event (video begins at 30 seconds):
Get Up Close and Personal with Special Artifacts
Get up close and personal with some of the most unique artifacts at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum every Wednesday this summer during White Glove Wednesdays, when an archivist, curator or technician selects a special item not generally on display in the museum. Wednesdays at 11 a.m., museum visitors have the chance to view the items up close, hear more from the experts and ask any questions they may have about the artifacts. Read More
7 Times Truman Made the Case for National Health Care
Harry S. Truman was the first president to publicly endorse a national health insurance program. Just seven months into his presidency, Truman sent a special message to Congress proposing a national health care program. The American Medical Association deemed Truman’s proposed national health care plan, which was to be open to all Americans and administered by a federal health board, “socialized medicine.” Others claimed the plan was painted with a red brush. Ultimately, Truman’s national health care proposal was defeated in Congress. Years later, Truman listed this defeat the most troubling disappointment of his presidency. Read on for excerpts from Truman’s most rousing calls for national healthcare.
Cheers to 10 Years
Truman Library Institute Members have unlimited access to the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum every day, but each summer at Members Night, the museum is exclusively yours. We celebrated the impact your generosity has year-round last week at the 10th Annual Members Night at the Museum on Thursday, June 8.
Get Up Close and Personal with Truman Library Artifacts
Pull back the curtains on some of the most interesting objects at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum this summer with special events showing off rare objects not usually on display. Join us every Wednesday for White Glove Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and the first Friday of each month for Talkin’ Truman discussions focusing on specific themes.
Check out what is scheduled this next month at the Truman Library and make your plans to visit:
Presidents Speak Out on Harry S. Truman
Happy birthday, Harry! President Truman was born on this day 133 years ago. In honor of Truman’s birthday, we compiled quotes from other presidents on Truman’s impact.
On April 12, 1945, Harry S. Truman became president of the United States. The following day, President Truman told reporters that he “felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.”
President Truman’s first 100 days in office were a whirlwind of activity, including the end of the war in Europe, planning for the postwar world with other world leaders gathering at Potsdam, the successful testing of the first atomic bomb, the establishment of the United Nations, and planning for the end of the war in the Pacific. No small feat for a man who had only met with President Roosevelt twice during his 82 days as vice president, and didn’t even know about the existence of the bomb.
In addition to overseeing and planning the end of a two-front war and planning the peace, Truman also issued 52 executive orders, delivered 10 proclamations, held 14 press conferences, and received one honorary degree. In order to maintain the incredible pace of the presidency and be prepared for the decisions he had to make as Commander in Chief, Truman spent every night reading countless memos and files in his private study in the White House. No wonder Harry Truman said that “Being president is like riding a tiger. You have to keep riding or be swallowed.”
Read on for some TRU-firsts from the president’s first 100 days.